Sunday, April 29

Crabtree Falls

Today we hiked Crabtree Falls. Jordan and I are trying to visit the places that we haven't before we leave this place.

We had planned on hiking for about a week now. However, the weather almost screwed with our plans. We had a nasty morning... it was cold, rainy, and windy. We experienced it when we got up to go to church so we decided that it probably wouldn't be the best day to go. So we notified Max, Abigail, Libby, and Isaac.

We laid down for a nap after church at about 10:30 and when I woke up at about noon, the sun was a shining! I woke Jordan up to tell him but he still thought it wasn't a good idea to hike. Somehow, he changed his mind in a few minutes with some convincing. We let the other couples know... and the day was on!

Ike and Lib were still to join us so we were really excited. Max and Abi were to be missed though. We are hopefully going to do our next hiking adventure with them to Devil's Marbleyard. We made a quick lunch while we waited for the Wendland's to meet us at our place for our wondrous hike. We made the 45 to 60 minute drive to the largest waterfall east of the Rockies.

It was absolutely stunning. The drive was gorgeous. However, it was the typical Virginian windy roads and I actually got nauseated near the end of our journey. I made it though. It felt so good to get out of that truck!

We geared up and headed on the trail. The Wendland's had just come the previous weekend so they were wonderful friends to go again with us! We had so much fun! At first we were taking turns leading the way up but then Jordan took over the job as "nature leader" as Libby called it.

It was a 1.7 mile hike to the top of the waterfall. There were many lookout spots a long the way. I don't think I've seen something so majestic. Just thinking about the power behind a waterfall is crazy. Jordan mentioned that it never stops running, they just don't turn it on for the hikers. It is kind of a crazy thought. The scenery almost seemed fake because it was so beautiful!

It turned out to be an absolutely beautiful day. It was about 68 degrees with a slight slight breeze. The afternoon was full of laughter and exploring. There were a couple slips along the way but we made it both ways! Isaac was our "nature leader" on the way back down... what a wonderful job the boys did! Libby and I were cracking up.

We saw lots of puppy friends which was rather exciting. They were tiring out and had to take breaks too! I told Jordan on the way up how wonderful it would be to have our dog do fun things like this with us.

We finished off the evening with some wonderful pizza for dinner at Ledo's. I always love every  moment that we spend with the Wendland's. They are true treasures to Jordan and I.

Saturday, April 28

Finding a Home

We've been house shopping.... from a far. Well I truly, I've been house shopping.

The way it works is that I do all the searching, digging, finding, and hunting... then Jordan shoots down the houses he doesn't like. It truly is helpful. Do you know how hard it is to eliminate houses from the internet that you've never seen in person? My growing list of our saved houses will attest to the difficulty...

I have 53 houses saved in my little planned out excel spreadsheet. These 53 houses have grabbed my attention somehow. The houses that Jordan declines do not make the list. However, I still have too many.

53 house viewings seems like an impossible task to accomplish. I can say, I am thankful for the options. I've been looking at houses in our little area of the metroplex, close to my work... which hopefully will be close to Jordan's work or else we might have to start the search again! 

It's truly a task but I've been absolutely enjoying it. It's thrilling. There are some houses on my list that need a little TLC but they have great potential and great standing features. There are also some houses that seem really well rounded like even having granite counter-tops and upgraded fixtures. 

The thing is, though, that I can change anything in the house. This is what I keep in mind. Paint colors do not affect me... like they do Jordan. I can see past the ugly decor and the paint, perhaps I have some part of my mother's eye for decorating but Jordan struggles with it a bit.

I can look at a house with potential and see what I would change. There are the obvious like getting new kitchen appliances or ugly wall colors. Then there's the subtle changes that I would like to do like adding some crown molding, changing the hardware throughout the house like on the doors and around the sinks.

I've even been getting emailed updates when the prices change on my 'saved' houses on Homes. Yesterday, two of our houses decreased their price... one by 7k and another by 23k!!! I was jumping for joy. It was thrilling! I felt like I had gotten a deal even though I'm not buying!

We've been doing this little house search for probably just over a week and it's just been fun to think, dream, and play. We're not really sure what our exact plan is for when we move back home to Texas but we're having fun thinking about it all.

There are still things up in the air that need to be nailed down - particularly Jordan's job. Jordan has a lot of opportunities but he just has to decide really what he wants to do and where and how he wants to do it. I also must pass my NCLEX... nothing could really be possible until I pass this sucker.

Right now, we're in dream land. We're planning and aspiring. We've done some calculating as well... which is why I am able to look at these houses. We've been playing with figures and other options to see what our best deal is. 

The main thing is that we just need to be praying for God's direction, timing, and plan. We want to stay within His will and move faster or slower than we should... which is sometimes difficult for a planner like me. However, I have been learning to "let go and Let God" all year long... it's been wonderful!

So needless to say, this is all just big mumbo jumbo about really nothing but dreams and possibilities. We are definitely looking forward to what these summer months have to bring...

Keep your prayers a flowing,
PS: Those are a couple of the fifty-three homes on our list ;)

Monday, April 23

A Chapter Complete

My friends and family, I have now completed a massive portion of my college life: Nursing Clinicals. This weekend was a whirlwind but I did it!

I had my last two 12 hour shifts for my leadership clinicals in the STICU. It was a good weekend. Learned some new things, as always! I feel like I went out strong. It was a weird feeling walking into the hospital for the last time... my friend Lauren (the other student who works with me there) and I decided to get the nurses some donuts from Sweet Stella and write a thank you card to thank them for all of their effort to teach us, encourage us, and help us through the semester.

It was seriously a wonderful experience. The nurses were just the best. They were excellent with patients and they were fabulous with Lauren and I. They wanted us to learn as much as we could and allowed for us to sort of "run the show" with our patients. We were able to direct the care that we were given and act as true RNs. Of course, they supervised our delivered care. The nurses were easy to approach if we had questions or needed help with anything. The most important thing about the semester is that we learned a ton and had fun!

I feel so blessed to be able to have this leadership clinical experience. It was simply incredible.

I got my patch from my uniform inserted into a Tervis cup! I love it!
Today, I wrapped up my last clinical total. Yesterday, in the STICU, was my last 'hospital clinical' but today I shadowed a high school nurse. I've been shadowing this nurse on mondays for about a month. It was a neat experience. It is a completely totally different type of nursing. I got to see a variety of conditions handled and treated through the means that a high school nurse is able to provide. It is so different than the hospital because she has significantly less at her disposal. It's a headache of a process for kids to be able to take medications at school. Mostly first aid is given like bandaids, splints, ice, and rest. Rest is probably the biggest treatment that is given.

These clinicals were really neat to experiences a totally different type of nursing. I really think that it would be fun to be able to substitute for a school nurse sometime in the future. Apparently, it's hard to get good school nurse substituent. I think it would be something fun to do for a change up in the schedule.

My clinical group from all of junior year; such fun!
So as I walked up the stairs to my apartment this afternoon, I was just tired and thankful. Thankful for the many experiences over the past four years of nursing school. This program has been absolutely outstanding!

I have some other updates since it has been forever since I have blogged because it's been a crazy couple weeks. I think most of them are nursing related because it's been my life for these couple weeks.

I am now certified in ACLS (advanced cardiac life support) and PALS (pediatric advanced life support). These are a huge benefit to my career. These certifications allow me to run or be the head/director of a code if a doctor is not in the room. I can reasonably read EKG rhythms strips and identify the medications and dosages necessary to treat life threatening situations in the even of a code. We went through treatment for rhythms like atrial fibrillation, asystole, ventricular fibrillation, ventricular tachycardia, torsades de pointes, supraventricular tachycardia, heart blocks, atrial flutter, and some junctional rhythms. We had to run through a code for each course and be the director of it to be able to receive this certification. We also had multiple choice tests for each.

Critical Care Certificate Program group; incredible friends!
I passed this test we have to take called the ATI RN-Predictor which means that I'll have a 98% chance of passing my NCLEX the first time I take it. Woot! Praise Jesus!

I have completed and turned in my senior thesis, which is one of the most incredible feelings in it self. This little bugger has been hanging over my head since I entered the Honors Program freshman year. I've been working on this little research paper for a year and a half. So YES it's wonderful to have it done. For those of you who don't know and are interested... my title and my subject were, "A Social Controversy: Autism Spectrum Disorder's Correlation to the Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccination."

DONE. That baby is D-O-N-E. Hallelujah!

In a completely different turn of events, the golf team boys won our division companionship. They are now Big South Champions for the second year in a row! They will find out in a couple weeks where they will play nationals this summer. Jordan wasn't on the team that went and played but I am just thrilled for the boys! They've worked so hard all year long. :)

Oh also, I've gone running with my friend Hope twice. It's been wonderful. We've done 4.5 and then 5.6 miles downtown Lynchburg along the James River. It is a beautiful course that she introduced me to! It's been super fun to have a running buddy to get a long run in once a week. We're headed down there tomorrow too! It's been delightful and a good ole kick in the butt!

I think that kinda sums up the gist of my past couple weeks. I have missed my blog!

Wednesday, April 4

Back to Being

I haven't painted in the longest time! The last time I painted was a portrait of Thunder for my parents this past summer. I don't remember my last project that proceeded that one so I am feeling lost, lost from part of me.

I love painting. It's a hobby. It's a stress reliever. It's a creative outlet. It's entertaining. It's an accomplishment. It's fun. It's beautiful. It's difficult. It's forgiving. It's mine.

I feel like most of my painting projects have been for me but looking back that might not be the case. I've done a ton of personal work like painting my jewlery armoire and a ton of different canvases. I've painted one portrait of Juno and one of Thunder for my mom. I've painted a portrait of Tex for Missy. I've painted a jewelry armoire for Aly. I've painted a fun shoe quote for Kelsey. 

My latest project was painting a canvas for my friend Laura. Laura is the daughter of one of my mom's best friend! She is absolutely fabulous and two precious children. My painting for her is one of a beautiful quote to hang above her daughter's bed. 

This project made me nervous. I think I am nervous because I usually don't make things off the top of my head.  I either see something and become inspired or I copy an image I already have. So because this was to be totally made up with just help from looking at Maren's bedding... it was slightly nerve racking!

However, I embarked on this journey! Laura sent pictures of her daughter's bedding and bedroom for inspiration and I went on.
from PB kids
Laura said she saw this quote sometime when she was down in Texas... "Jesus knows me, this I love." It's a play on the little Bible song. It's a really neat thought if you think about it. So here it goes... here is my rendition...

I am so grateful for this opportunity. It set me back to being me. Back to living. I missed my painting and crafts. I can't wait for this summer to be able to have TIME!

Tuesday, April 3

Happily Hired


I mentioned that I would update soon on my newest accomplishment of getting hired! I have already said several times that I had a few job interviews over Spring Break which ended in this feat.
My last interview was on Friday, March 16 through Texas Health for HEB. I thought it went really well. I really enjoyed the nurse manager. I had fun during the interview, which I suppose was surprising. She asked some tough questions but I felt good about my answers.  

She had told me that I would hear back by Monday if I was one of the five selected for the next step in the process, a panel interview. Well needless to say, I was out to lunch with my mother, Sheila, Julie, and Nola when my cell phone started ringing! I picked it up and it was the nurse manager on the phone.

She said that she enjoyed my interview on Friday and she would love to have me in the panel interview that upcoming Friday the 23rd. Of course I said YES! She said she was really excited about it. She gave me some little details about how the interview would go. I was to do it over the phone with a panel of five people interviewing me. It was scheduled for 3:00 my time on Friday afternoon.

So of course I felt like the week went by slowly since I was excited and nervous about this opportunity. I was super excited though! Well Friday surely rolled around and I sat at my little black round table patiently awaiting my telephone call. It came at 3:00 pm sharp.

Here we go! The people on the panel all introduced themselves and proceeded with the questions. They asked about five or six questions that were definitely difficult. I was not excepting some hard questions from them at all but I got them, that's for sure! After a few laughs and answered questions, we signed off and said good-bye.

I once again felt good about my answers to their questions yet I had this overwhelming feeling that I didn't get the job. I'm not sure why. It just overcame me even though I liked my answers. Perhaps it was the fact that the interview was over the phone is why I was thrown or maybe it was the Holy Spirit messing with me! ;)

Well, after my interview I headed to meet Jordan and Tyler at a Liberty baseball game. We had beautiful weather so it was perfect! Of course, my favorite Paige was there supporting her man too! She was probably the person I needed to see at the moment in time cause she can understand the nursing aspect of my interview. It was good just to be able to chat with her for a little bit.

Once the game was over we headed back to the house except I had noticed that my car rims needed to be cleaned since they were absolutely filthy. I headed over to our little 'car center' in our apartment complex to wash the wheels!

I had just starting washing the first rim when my cell phone started ringing. It was an unknown number from Texas. My heart started pounding out of my chest. I answered. It was the nurse manager. She sounded happy. She started by saying that the panel absolutely loved me and that they would like to offer me a position in their new graduate program and to join their team. They couldn't imagine their team without me! I  flipped! Well, not out loud. I kept my cool on the phone. She asked if I would accept the position. I said I would absolutely love too and then the choir went off. The panel was on speaker phone and they started shouting "yay!!" That just put a huge smile on my face. My nurse manager asked if I had any more questions for the moment and I said "Definitely not right now." She laughed and we hung up. 

That's when the flood hit. I instantly started bawling. Oh lawdy! Save me. Jordan wasn't with me... he had stopped by the main office of our complex to take care of some house keeping. I called him balling. He of course answered. The second he realized I was crying he said, "Lindsay, what is going on?" I said, "I got the job!!" He replied, "Oh booty!! Congratulations!" He had me hang up since he was talking with our apartment managers...

So I tried to call my mother and father. Dad was in the middle of the a golf tournament and mom was out with Missy. They both didn't answer. Mom called me back within two seconds and I told her! She screamed. So did Missy! Mom said she just KNEW I had it... please. 

When I was talking with mom, Jordan called back to ask where the heck I was since I wasn't at home. I explained that I was washing my wheels and he said "GET HOME!!" I finished washing my rims then drove the 100 yards back to our place and ran in the door. Jordan gave me a huge hug! We did our little happy dance that we do... and I was ecstatic!

I had gotten a call from Dad leaving me a voicemail saying how proud he was of me and that he couldn't control his emotions. My father is a softy! ;) I absolutely adore that about him.

Well text messages were sent and phone calls were made to a handful of others. My mom made calls to pretty much the entire family. Mom was absolutely thrilled as was I.

So that's pretty much the gist of how I was offered and reacted to my first big girl job! I will be the newest nurse in the ICU at Texas Health HEB starting in July! I can't not wait to start this adventure that God has allowed me embark on. I feel like it is the perfect fit and that I'll be just at home. The nurses seemed fabulous! I was able to laugh with everyone in the interviews. I learned that there is a group that run together and another group that goes on mission trips together. I just can't wait for this journey.

from Texas Health HEB
Now all I have to do is pass the NCLEX which will be available to me mid-June. I'm studying and praying my way through this thing. ;)

I feel so blessed beyond belief! Thank you all for your prayers throughout my application and interview process. God has definitely placed me where He wants me and that's for sure. Love you all.